KARACHI: Keel laying ceremony of 17000 tons Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker to be built indigenously was held on Friday at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering works. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila was the chief guest on the occasion.
The Fleet Tanker will be built by KS&EW in collaboration with Savurma Teknologileri Muhendislik (STM) of Turkey. The Tanker will provide logistics support to PN units at sea through transfer of dry and liquid cargos.
The ship can also undertake anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel operations through embarked helicopters. The ship can independently operate at sea for three months and will be equipped with latest medical facilities to provide limited medical support to PN units as well as during disaster relief operations.
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Sandila said that the construction of this platform is a manifestation of PN vision and commitment to pursue self reliance in warship construction. While commending the foundations of Pakistan-Turkey friendship, he added that our bonds are secure and strong. The dictates of contemporary world, however, demand that we further expand our horizon and diversify our relations to include greater economic and military cooperation. I feel that there is great potential to further exploit the avenues of mutual interest. Fleet Tanker project is a true manifestation of this very resolve of both the governments.”
Naval Chief was positive that this tanker will become the lifeline of PN fleet and continue to support it for many decades to come.
Earlier, the Managing Director Karachi Shipyard & Engineering works apprised the audience of the shipbuilding capabilities of KS&EW and said that Karachi Shipyard is fully equipped with infrastructure and highly trained manpower to undertake more challenging projects like Fleet Tanker.
He also highlighted that in last 2 years KS&EW has paid over Rs. 300 million in taxes and made a record profit of over 500 million rupees in FY 2012-13. He said that Karachi Shipyard can meet all shipbuilding and ship repair requirements of national maritime sector and is committed to achieve the goal of self reliance in the Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Sector.
The ceremony was attended by Turkish Ambassador, representatives of Defence Ministry, Board members of STM and senior naval officials.